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J and J execs have plenty to brag about in pharma. Why downplay Xarelto, Zytiga woes.

July 16, 2019 / Eric Sagonowsky

Johnson and Johnsons pharma unit is still churning out growth, partly because of out performing new launches like cancer med Darzalex. But execs had to explain away some disappointing results for two of its older blockbusters. Prostate cancer med Zytiga, which executives last year predicted wouldnt face 2018 generic competition, is losing ground to cheap copycats, while growth engine Xarelto faces a steamrolling rival in Pfizer and Bristol Myers Squibbs Eliquis. U.S. Zytiga sales slipped 59% in the second quarter to 198 million dollars thanks to an onslaught of generics, while anticoagulant Xarelto posted a 19% decrease in stateside sales to 549 million dollars. On Tuesday’s conference call, Vice Chairman Joaquin Duato said several factors hurt Xarelto’s performance in the second quarter. More of Xarelto's scripts came from Medicare Part D patients in Q2 of this year compared with last, according to J&J's earnings presentation. And J&J was on the hook for a ...